To the point of self-annihilation, I have become obsessed with creating something, anything. Paradoxically, I’ve never been happier.


An excerpt from the first book in a trilogy of new novels I've been writing since 2018
This is from Book 1: Love Cure Us


Beset by frontal lobe seizures and paranoid delusions, and after two suicide attempts, Nelly’s psychiatrist advises that assisted death in Geneva is the safest option for her. However, when she offers to donate her heart to terminally-ill Tim and they form a bond, her nightmare awakens to brighter new realities and answers. Love Cure Us is the story of an affair of the heart that develops between two strangers when one must die so the other can live.

Book 2, Judging Us, is an origins story about Nelly’s parents—a Dublin lawyer becoming a judge and her music-producer mother after they become embroiled in the criminal underworld.

Book 3, Truth Free Us, follows Nelly in America and her efforts to expose her father’s new wife’s political corruption.

BOOK 1 Chapter 1


The noisy restaurant’s toilet wasn’t exactly a quiet haven for ironic self-pity, but at least it was surgically clean—if you ignored the uninspired graffiti. Tim found it almost impossible not to compare himself to other artists’ work and squinted at the scrubbed, faded green marker scrawled on the back of the cubicle door.

Wazzer woz ere!!!

“Jaysus, exclamation mark much there, Wazzer? I wonder if you knew you were here, really knew; like weeks from dying and every breath is a bonus kind of knew. Maybe you were homeless and you did know. Maybe that’s the meaning behind all those exclamations.”

He rotated the marker in his pocket again, fingers twitching as the words rushed forwards like A-student keen to impress teacher.

“Yes, Wazzer, the artist should leave something of themselves, but others need to know there are answers out there.”

He bit off the lid and let a word through, then another, not knowing the order as he began writing.

Luck is coming

At it from the right angle

“Hmm, nice.”

He shoved the lid back on the marker and admired the work. It was amazing how inspiration arrived, how it seemed borrowed. It bubbled up from inside, from all that life imparted, like the fossils of faded thoughts, reborn into the world. Crude sometimes but necessary. If he hadn’t been dying, he reckoned he could have made a career as a writer. Being diagnosed with heart failure had, serendipitously, been the catalyst for his role as a self-pitying gorilla poet with messianic tendencies.

Anonymity seemed a better way to reach those who used cubicles for purposes other than their designed intent, but he longed to sign Tim Feely just once before the auld forty year young ticker packed up.

He sat back on the toilet seat and slid the heels of his worn Italian shoes under the pointy bones of his arse—a much fancied arse once upon a time.

He had entered the toilet twenty minutes earlier and stayed there to consider the implications of allowing Nelly, his heart doner, to join him on the free holiday to Paris that he’d won on a radio phone-in show—winning at the first time of trying! Yet again more proof the Universe knew better than doctors, who exaggerated that his time was soon due to run out. Before leaving the bathroom, he read his graffitied words, shrugged and headed back to tackle the Paris conundrum.

In the hallway, he ducked behind a miniature palm to watch Nelly. She folded a napkin on the table like a flag on a coffin. For someone who wasn’t explicitly dying, not like he was, she was bleedin’ morbid today. Eyes bulging, wearing the green beanie again she had arrived in that afternoon, DIY fringe, twisting her brown hair around her skittish fingers, jaysus she looked like she belonged in a straight-jacket. This was far removed from the dignified, selfless woman he’d grown to know online. Now she looked like she might flip the table and stab half the office winos eating lunch before doing herself in.

Doing his eternal optimist thing on this occasion would have been ideologically flawed. He needed her heart and trying to make her laugh, as he had all afternoon, seemed counter productive, as twisted a thought as that was. Nope, today wouldn’t be one of those marathonic guilty battles with himself. If she was adamant about dying, and her doctors were helping her carry out her wishes, he was adamant about re-joining the local football team. He’d have her heart for just after the start of the new season. The thought of turning up in the red and white striped kit piqued another little rush of excitement. Oh, the lads faces, oh their tense hugs, stiff pats on the back and loose pints of celebration in the bar afterwards, that he, ‘touchy Feely’, had somehow come back from fucken death’s door and could still curl a mean free kick into the top corner of the net even if he moved like a geriatric. Oh hell yes, how it would feel again to yell his lungs out to square the ball. It filled him with ironic giddiness given he was accused of ‘cowering from tackles like a little girl’ so often. He chuckled to himself.

A woman’s heart. Jaysus, I’ll never live it down.

The restaurant filled with delicious smells of baked bread and garlic, for a moment—when a body is so sick, the sense of smell goes along with libido, ego and all that’s left are memories and…

An affectation.

It was not uncommon to smell things: cigarette smoke thinking of his mam and wet soil thinking of Dad.

On his way through the closely situated tables, the sudden cold sweat came again like an articulated truck.

Ye bollocks ye.

He was slammed sideways, sending him buckled onto a burly guy in a white shirt, who shrugged him off.

“Ye fecker… not you, mate.” He leaned on the back of a chair wincing down at the two shocked office winos and grinned. “The pistons are knackered. Gis a minute, man,” he said, with a wheeze in his lungs. “The engine failed the NCT.” He caught his frail reflection in a large mirror, tapped his chest and grinned at himself and then the diners below. “It’s a bastad these days.”

Being made to feel like a burden wasn’t self-pityingly tweet-worthy any more, neither was being looked through as if he was already in the ground.

The nice waitress from earlier, in the process of hurrying over, caught his eyes. She took his elbow like he was eighty and asked if he was alright in her soft, husky Galway brogue.

“Here, I’m not an aul fella. I’m fucken stronger than I look.” He politely shrugged her off, and she led him aside to where it was quieter. “Just a bit sketchy,” he said. “I thought ye saw me wonderful work in the jacks. Not as profound as Wazzer’s, but probably more useful.”

“Eh, don’t know what you mean.” She hid a look that suggested a bus boy had nipped in to see what he had been doing in there for so long. “You’re fine,” she said, cuter in her ‘decidedly always against the general consensus’ stance. “Take your time. Don’t mind them—bloody ignoramuses.”

“Do I look like I need help?”

“Actually you do.”

“Well… maybe I do. But I don’t want it! No offence.” She was attractive to him—he could find something endearing about anyone—middle aged with clear deep pools of black and coronas of baby blue fixed lovingly on him. He took her waist gently as he glanced around, as swilling political chatter resumed, pulling her close enough to smell the coconut shampoo in her auburn hair. “You’re way too good for this fancy kip,” he said, with a friendly squeeze.

“Sure don’t I know,” she whispered, glancing back to his table. “You should get back to your girlfriend. She’s been waiting, impatiently.”

He let her go. Nelly hadn’t lifted her eyes from the napkin. “She’s not my girlfriend, she’s eh… donating her heart to me.”

“Ah, would ye go on.” She elbowed him and winked, cocked her head and stared into his eyes. “Oh, you’re serious.”

“No word of a lie. And sure didn’t I go and win a trip to Paris there last week, and I told her. She’s been hinting that she wants me to take her, I think.” He stared at Nelly. “I have a feeling she might be catfishing me now.”

“Surely not?” She looked back at her. “Ah, she doesn’t seem the type.”

“What type is she to you?” he asked, for reassurance.

“She came across as genuine when I served her. Seems like a real person to me, if a bit depressed.”

“You’ve no idea.”

“Taking her to Paris with you might cheer her up, for a while at least.”

He refrained from telling her the awful details of why she was popping her own clogs. “You enjoy yourself. Never forget the haters only destroy because it’s the closest thing to creating something new for them.” He took her hand and squeezed out a tear from her glassy eyes. “Luck is coming for you.”

He gazed across the room at Nelly, wondering if his luck had run out; whether she was one of those online fake people who go to extreme lengths to find a sliver of love. Or maybe she had Munchausen Syndrome and the whole thing was a sick fabrication, an effort at being virtuous; offering her heart just to feel good about herself for a while.

One more false dawn and that would be it, his heart wouldn’t take it.


This is from chapter 13 where Nelly remembers a therapy session at eighteen years old. In it she decides she is almost well enough to leave Ireland alone and move to France.


She waited by the window, watching boats pass near the horizon. The sea was a hazy pale blue, and the smell of suntan lotion filled the cooling air. As she watched shadows pass by the gap under the door, she remembered Walter’s office and how Ireland wasn’t safe; she was beginning to look like her mother. If those men watching her were real, they’d realise it was her, Nelly Byrne and not Rowena Reign. That day Walter encouraged her to move about because being sedentary made her morose and closed off.

As she did, she wondered how much she might miss the stuffy room and all his books. He had a few comfy rugs she liked to walk on barefoot. His classy mahogany furniture was the inspiration for a dream to be an interior designer to the rich. Old tapestries depicting battles and a big globe were other things she liked to study. His walls of books were mostly psychology books, which she did not miss reading one bit.

She wanted to be liberated from college, therapy and a culture that didn’t suit her.

“It feels like I’m living under authoritarian rule,” she told Walter. “But they’re sophisticated enough to make it seem like I’m not. And it’s like if you aren’t completely compliant they say you have a behavioural problem. Do you even realise how condescending and patronising people are if they know you have mental problems?” She kneaded her hands a lot that year. “I’m not saying you are, although you do aren’t always great, but men don’t like it when women speak with authority.”

“What do you mean?”

She paced silently until the urge to respond overwhelmed her. “You don’t like it when the script is flipped. You see women as projects for you.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Argh. Stop that. How do I say this? Okay, so I hated my mam, yes, but I can’t deny that she was trapped in a house alone all day with me. Kids are needy, illiterate, selfish little drains who dumb women down and turn us into crazy people.”

“Where is all this coming from Nelly? Last week we were discussing—”

“Men get to be free, Walter, to explore their dreams and imagination, to invent things and build the world. What are women to you?” She held her elbows.

“Your right, Nelly.”

“I thought I said don’t patronise me.” She bared her gritted teeth. “I’m trying to say I don’t need therapy anymore.”

“You need somewhere safe to work out your thoughts.”

“I only come because Tobe still thinks it helps. He says I’m figuring myself out like everyone else my age, except I’ve had it a lot tougher. He says women are on new ground, we’ve joined the game you’ve been running for years, and I need to not feel resentment about that. I have to focus on the moment and the future.”

“He sounds like a wise man. He knows you’re not ready, too.”

“Maybe I’m not. But I feel like I have to try. I can’t keep talking about things. Look, I don’t plan to look for trouble.”

“He laughed.”

“Okay, so I challenge the status quo, but I only do it because this world wasn’t designed for me.”

“You really think that?”

“I don’t think it, I feel it.” She tutted. “Do you remember when we talked about male suicide like I should care?”

“Did we?”

“Yes we had a whole…” She frowned, unsure if the conversation had happened. “Anyway. It’s hard for men to get a taste of their own medicine. Seeing how ugly it is when women stop being the responsible ones and fuck around.”

“And you say you won’t go looking for trouble?” He chuckled.

“It’s hard getting knocked off your perch by us. It’s impossible for some men to accept women were marginalised and told they were not as bright. I’m bright, Walter.”

“You are— Okay, so I see where this is going. How long have you felt you are finished with therapy?” He did the fingers thing, pressing the tips together to form a church roof. “Sit for me for a while. You’re too worked up.”

She rolled her eyes and slammed her palm down on the globe, on Tajikistan. “What’s left to figure out? I hated Mam and loved Dad. He changed, and I felt like I was losing him before they died… if they actually died.” She sighed. “I mean, I know they are. Mam was angry, she wanted a life and not me.” She slumped into a chair. “I’ve accepted all that, and they’re dead. I did years ago. I’ve moved on, really. I want to tackle the big problems.”

“You still believe they’re alive.” He smiled condescendingly. “You just said it.”

“Sometimes I think it, but I know they wouldn’t have stay away so long.” She stared out the window at a squirrel skipping from branch to branch. “Do you really think it’s likely I’ll always have paranoia?”

“It’s possible if you stop taking your medication.”

“Do you think I’ll eventually get better if I keep going talking it over with you?”

“Until you accept they dead and you aren’t being followed.”

“But I can analyse myself now. I know how you do it..”

He stared at her in a fatherly way.

She shrugged and analysed him—he had a good bit of Mediterranean heritage in him, was intuitive, but was as Irish as a modern Dubliner could be. A proper rugby type who wore his jumpers around his shoulders. He seemed to have a lot more going on in the thigh area when she watched him leaving his office. Her thoughts outside often drifted to his greying curly hair and the deep lines in his dark skin, but it was his big black eyes—way too emotional and invested in her to be just her shrink—that made her anxious about continuing with therapy. She wanted him to give her permission to stop seeing him, confirmation she might be close enough to ready for life alone. His fatherly thing had a bit of Freud to it. It was beginning to dawn on her that some men found her geeky youthful appearance somehow attractive. Only Irish men respected her kind of asexual woman, she thought. But French men. They weren’t so enamoured by her delicate skin and pert boobs. They found troubled women like her complex and intriguing. They brought out something inside her that she longed to discover. And they were challenging. And they forced her to be less sensitive, which let her breath under her own power, and that made her feel less overwhelmed. Shrinks, like Irish men, were too kind and sensitive.

In her self educated view, despite all Walter’s books and framed degrees, he didn’t understand anything about women, and that made him not so smart. He had the qualities of being an intellectual. He knew so much about not much worth knowing about. Nothing that pertained to her, nor to love. He knew her as a set of hard to control impulses. He would scratch his chin and adjust his glasses often. And wore leather elbow patches sometimes and owned a barn owl, stuffed on his shelf, but he didn’t know the spirt that once lived in the animal. Everything had to be logical, and no contradictory. In so many ways his mind was ahead of hers, but he walked and talked like a people pleaser. That made him pointless. He had always done what he was told, and she knew in her gut that to truly learn about the world you had to test its tensile strength, to break it and see what it couldn’t take.

Even if he didn’t, she knew she was ready for the world.

As she analysed his middle-aged, patriarchal eyes, she realised he was the one who had been a victim his whole life. Unlike her, he was a whinger, as her Gran used to say regarding adult children like him who posed like he was high and mighty. It had made a cat of her. She wandered around his office, answering his therapeutic questions as expected while knocking his things onto the floor.

“Sorry, I must have a coordination issue or something. You’ll have to test me for that, too.”

He condescended her for acting out, but nobody should be treated like that, as he saw fit, based on his assessment. Fifty percent of her slipped through his hands. He wasn’t so sure of his peer-reviewed papers or his years of experience, so why should she be? Enough was enough, she couldn’t allow him, or anyone inside her like this, raping her mind.

“Leon is all the Therapy I need.” And France.

“He is a symbol of your avoidance. In circumventing your pain, you are shutting yourself off from who you are, Nelly. This lies at the core of many of your issues,” he said, casually yawning in an attempt to look less like an inquisitor, she thought.

“That’s such bullshit, Walter. I have developed an instinct for what’s right for me, and I’ve grown out of this. I came to say—” His eyes seemed to tremble with deeper, unresolved feelings. Feelings for her?

She remembered he was childless and she felt used. “Why do you care so much about me?”

His voice cracked. “You risk a fixable problem turning into a long-term illness, Nelly.”

“I think I’m ready.”

He sighed and massaged the dimple in his chin. Before she would leave him frustrated, she noted another book on his shelf. Some of them were in the library, others she had found online.

She ran her finger across the spines of his old leather books near the door. “In all this time, you have treated me as if love is a distraction. What do you know about love, Walter?” she asked, in his patronising tone of voice. “I don’t see any books on it here.”

“Why would there be any?”

“It cures mental pain. Why did all those old men believe that thinking was the answer?”

“They dealt in the subject of mental illness. Sit for a moment.”

“You are exhibiting signs of controlling behaviour, Walter,” she said, reiterating her dislike for being used as a project or surrogate child and patronised. “I feel better. Did you notice I said ‘feel’ and not ‘think’?” She chased an itch around her body. “I’m calmer. It’s not important that someone else helped me, but Leon has done what you couldn’t. I’m going to live in France.”

“I don’t think it’s a good idea. Your separation anxiety must be addressed, properly, before you become seriously involved with anyone.”

She tutted. “I’m not nine, I’m eighteen. I came to tell you I’m moving to Biarritz, for good.” His eyes flickered like candles starved of oxygen. “This isn’t healthy for either of us, Walter. I’ve become a twisted perversion for you.”

He leaned forwards, shoulders raised to his ears, fists balled, then flattened on the desk like dead fish. “You may attach yourself to this boy.”

“I have Uncle Tobe to talk to, I won’t.”

His eyes said all his work would be in vain—which didn’t bother her anymore. “My parents’ death is not the problem, seeing you is.” She was dreaming of liberty, the future and Biarritz, where she would be sane. “You’re right about one thing, I suppose, I could attach myself to Leon.”

“And if he leaves you, what will—?”

She waved a hand and went to the globe. After she spun it, she hovered a finger and jabbed it down with grinning optimism. It stopped on the Sahara. “Just great, a desert for my future.” She shot him a hateful look. “You make everything feel like a disaster is inevitable? I feel like Leon fills that giant hole you put in me everything you drag me back to the past.”

“He may leave a hole bigger one than the one your parents left?”

“This clearly isn’t working, Walter, therapy was a big mistake.” She scowled at the wall of dusty books behind him. “Sorry, you’re in a cult. I finally see it. I was confused by everything. I was told to be good; to do as I was told; don’t act out; go to therapy, but it isn’t me. I have to choose my own destiny. I want live in the moment not rake over old things.”

She smiled as she watched the squirrel munch on a nut. “People don’t watch you as closely in France like they do here. I can’t breathe or think. I feel nothing that I should feel at my age, but over there I feel free and alive. The moment I started college it all came back: the déjà vu, the temporal lobe seizures, the depression, delusions, everything just swamped me like a tsunami one day. I’m not designed to be in therapy or college. They’re cults as far as I can see. I’m dropping out of everything… I’m running away. And so what? Tobe has agreed.”

“I can’t stop you.” His eyes were emotional and his voice cracked as he looked at the door. “Off you go then.”

“I will but… I just need one more thing from you.”


She sat in the chair, where she had sat since she was nine. “I haven’t called Leon in a whole day, and I pretend to myself he hardly matters to me when he does call. I make him work before I give him the love we both need. I don’t know why I do that? Why do I do that?”

“What have you been consuming on TV or online?”

“Yeah, it might be that. You’re probably right.” She sprung anxious glances at the door and back to his bookshelf. “I read that many young girl’s physical problems are psychosomatic, all in the head. Psychosomatic stuff is still real if it stops someone being who they’re supposed to be, isn’t it?” She flashed at her thighs and back at him.

He shifted in his chair, ran his fingers through his hair and interlocked them behind his head. “Psychosomatic illnesses are real, but some in my profession would disagree.”

She crossed her legs. “I know I’m not a fully formed person, okay. It’s the only bit of shitty advice my mother ever gave me: ‘You’ll only feel like you’re there at forty’.” She mimicked her mother’s smoky deep voice. “‘And by then it’ll be too late.” She waved her hand. “Maybe I’m more like my mother than I want to admit to. It wasn’t through lack of trying not to be.” She jolted up and rubbed her eyes clean of his dusty room. “My future will be clear and challenging and on my terms.”

She sighed and went to the door and held the handle. “I saw a gardener pulling up big old weeds today and thought there’s no point raking through shit if your garden is full of it. You can’t hide the smell by planting flowers. Sometimes it’s better to sell the place and start new.” She stared at him and smiled nervously. “You’ll be glad to be rid of me.”

He pressed two fingers to his temple and shook his head. “I know you’ll be back.”

“You did help a little, but I won’t.” She caressed the books by the door. “I’ve more than enough to get on with it.”

“I disagree. Your affectation that people are after you will become problematic again if left unaddressed.”

“I’ll deal with it. I know it’s not real. Love will cure me. Bye Walter.”





My name is Duck, and I have a problem. Several, actually, but one worth telling you about. Its value lies in the idea that this problem is not unique to me and those with the same problem will benefit from a shared problem being a halved one (one in this case best forgotten about). As I said, I have several problems. Miniscule ones. A bag of rubbish I haul around due to accumulative avoidance, or The Accumulative Avoidance Problem. Hardly worth talking about… unless it bothers you. Which it may now as you’ve heard about it. The main problem, however, is something more pervasive and serious. I’ve started calling it my submarine of doom, or The Submarine of Doom Problem.

Let me explain:

So I start out life differently, as a bunny rabbit, actually, with imaginary sabre-tooth incisors hidden beneath fluffy white fur… retractable trainer fangs… and supernova eyes. Eve-ry-thing is going to be guuuu-reat!

I bounce around the place, and hence when a problem presents itself I bounce over it. The Bounce Problem I call it (which eventually matures into The Accumulative Avoidance Problem). Starting out along the proverbial Yellow Brick Road of life, I see a great river. A stony river. I dive in and can instantly swim because I’m bouncy and my forthright effort is innate. I soon evolve into a little fluffy yellow duck. Now I no longer have to avoid the more threatening land predators, and I’m smiling away to myself. Until rapids force my head down into swirling, sucking undercurrents. Never to be outdone, I float up and happily along until one day the water is gone.

I’m stuck on one of the aforementioned stones because I’m a duck afraid of the land. I sit there wondering what to do, staring at the lovely blue sky and the trees blooming and dying. I’m distracted by life; no longer part of it but an observer waiting for the rains.

This is where the problems manifest but are also tackled.

Sitting around is bad.


You foster problems like they’re your children.

Soon the rains come and the river begins to flow again, but you drive yourself towards the bank and find dry land. There, you decide that all that sitting around was good. You were tackling The Accumulative Avoidance Problem.

It feels like a time-out to look at where you’ve been, and you realise you’ve been bouncing rather than tackling internal problems in how you navigate life. So you tackle. You put your shoulder to problems and push. Obviously, you dislocate your shoulder because you’re not used to tackling problems. Never deterred, you bounce back into it and get injury after injury. However, you’re making a little progress. Sorting out piecemeal the multitude of inconsistencies and contradictions in your being. It’s slow going being a self-aware little duck. You don’t have the shine you once had but you’re on your way.

Except, you’re not.

You’re sitting there.

Bigger problems are accumulating:




This is when the aforementioned Submarine of Doom Problem arrives. With your belief that tackling problems is far better than accumulating them, you float into the river again, headlong towards the Submarine of Doom. But the Submarine of Doom is not an ordinary problem because it is directly related to the process of tackling problems. It is your belief that preventing problems is easier than accumulating them. You run towards problems when they are the very things you should run from. Grow back legs and evolve away from that shit.

No no.

I tackle now.

I evolve… through struggle.

I will not be outdone.

You notice other evolved little ducks on land, with scary feathers and fangs, tackling their Submarines of Doom. You get to thinking that if each other prevents the other’s problem, problem solved.

Your little rubbery legs propel you back onto land. Soon you grow big intimidating black feathers and get your FANGS back. With other toothy happy friends, you believe you have scared off all threats and problems.

The Accumulative Avoidance Problem, however, is as pervasive as any other problem here because you are a problem tackler now not tackling a problem. This niggles, especially when you’re with other evolved, unafraid ducks because they are avoiding, too. You begin to wonder what the Submarine of Doom is planning: hence you develop The Submarine of Impending Doom Problem. Moreover, you peer repetitively into the river to see it sitting there waiting for your return.


This is the life of someone that hasn’t realised most problems are created inside one’s head. Staying where one shouldn’t; to bunce; to return to a floating duck being forced to bow by rapids is ideologically flawed. One must stay on the bank where it’s safe. Right? But one cannot help feeling a pull to return to the rapids that once made one feel so weak and at sea. One wonders if one can fight the rapids. Shoulder the force.

One returns to the river. Rushes headlong and manifests psychologically a fluffy yellow duck form. Only this time, one sees just one problem: the conundrum of where does the river go and what problems will be encountered when one gets there?

Hence, The Submarine of Impending Doom appears above the water with a thermonuclear bomb armed and ready for the slightest hint of the end, or The Bitter End Problem.


as the river flows endlessly onward, the joy of tackling rapids with ease fills one with a life force that cannot be torpedoed; one is learning how to be a



Duck accepts The Accumulative Avoidance Problem, The Submarine of (Impending) Doom Problem and The Bitter End Problem. Duck is one with the world and oneself. Duck may be perpetually hungry, community-less and directionless, for now, but Duck has the immense feeling that one has conquered oneself.

Duck finds others on the river shouldering into rapids. They share joy.

Duck’s struggle comes to a meaningful


Duck has learned to


Duck’s internal quack does not create external


Rather the



Donnacha lives on the remote Irish island of Treoir.
Haunted by the memory of his institutionalised wife and failing at being
a surrogate father to his niece and nephew, he tries to find new
meaning by giving refuge to an African teen who has albinism.

In parts of Africa, people with albinism are considered magical and
witch doctors convince remote tribes they will be blessed with good luck
and wealth by drinking a broth made from the body parts of albinos.
This makes them a hunted people.

Dubliner, Jonah Odjinwahlia, has a world-changing scientific theory
and suffers from albinism. When his petty criminal of a father plans to
sell him to traffickers, he is given refuge on the island of Treoir. But
his arrival amongst the sheltered community sparks old superstitions.
Once Jonah goes missing, his benefactor, Donnacha, sets off on a
perilous trek across Tanzania to hunt for the witch doctor Jonah has
been sold to.

Set against a backdrop of conservatism and superstition, Treoir is
both a gripping plot and an exploration into cultural norms that span
the modern and third worlds, highlighting the arbitrary remedies we
create for our fragility and human nature—that can legitimise our
most abhorrent behaviours.


David Beckler (Author of the Mason and Sterling Series)

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 October 2020